For immediate release
June 8, 1999
NPR ANNOUNCES LANDMARK STRATEGIC ALLIANCE WITH CD RADIO
Public Radio Broadcaster Moves Quickly to Capitalize on New Technology and New Medium
Washington, D.C. -- National Public Radio® (NPR®) today announced an exclusive agreement with CD Radio, the satellite-to-car broadcaster, to provide programming for two channels on CD Radio's national digital satellite radio service. The alliance enables NPR, its member stations, and independent producers to develop innovative programs for CD Radio. CD Radio becomes the only satellite broadcaster of public radio programming nationwide.
Launching at the end of fourth quarter 2000, subscribers to CD Radio's national satellite radio service will have access to up to 100 channels of programming, including 50 channels of commercial-free music and up to 50 channels of news, talk, sports, and other entertainment and information programming. NPR will launch with two channels, featuring new programs developed specifically for CD Radio – as well as existing public radio shows. NPR plans to dedicate one channel (NPR Nationwide) to news, talk, and information. The other channel will focus more on entertainment and cultural features. CD Radio and NPR will develop programming for two additional dedicated channels in the future.
As part of the alliance, NPR will also have a presence on CD Radio's 50 commercial-free music channels through classical and jazz features and interviews. NPR's satellite radio channels will offer public radio listeners a greater variety of programming formats and will complement existing service on conventional radio stations. Estimates have placed CD Radio's potential audience in excess of 20 million U.S. listeners within five years.
"The agreement puts NPR and its member stations at the forefront of the radio industry's emerging satellite broadcast capability, and helps to ensure the future of public radio's service to the American public in an increasingly digital world. Working with our member stations and independent producers, we will create distinctive new programming to reach new audiences for our public radio communities," said NPR President and CEO Kevin Klose. "CD Radio's unique programming vision and patented technology put them at the leading edge of this burgeoning new medium and we're pleased to be their strategic partner."
"NPR offers some of the most entertaining and compelling audio programming in the country. This is a great addition to our service," said David Margolese, CD Radio's chairman and chief executive. "This alliance furthers our strategy of offering listeners unique, high quality content not available anywhere else."